In 2018, the crypto market had witnessed the all-time low. As 2019 kicks in, false coins and inexperienced startups are dying off, blockchain technology is evolving with mass adoption and less pressure to create proper regulations. To help you catch up, Remitano gladly brings you some of the most highlighted stories during the first exciting days of January.
Why Bitcoin, Ethereum and the entire crypto market were down in value: An opinion article on why the market has been falling down, and what to expect in the next year of 2019.
The comprehensive guide to public key cryptography: This is an insightful deep-dive on the origins of public key cryptography, how it really works from a technical standpoint, and why it has so many interesting applications in the blockchain space.
Litecoin 2018 recap and its plan for the future: The past year saw the adoption of Litecoin continue to skyrocket, and its network infrastructure hit some key development milestones as well. This year, the network aims to incorporate atomic swaps and new privacy features, while continuing to grow adoption.
Bitcoin vs. traditional assets and how crypto 10-year performance sync up: Bitcoin has been among the most fascinating tradable assets to watch over the last year. From reaching dazzling new heights to its most recent tumble to fresh one-year lows, the cryptocurrency market has been nothing short of exciting when attempting to characterize its volatile ebb and flow.
New York assemblyman announces creation of ‘first’ US cryptocurrency task force
An assemblyman of the New York state (NYS) legislature, Clyde Vanel, announced in a Facebook post that the state will have the nation’s “first” cryptocurrency task force.
The force will aim at studying the regulations, use, and definition of digital currency. Specifically, the report will study the impact of regulations on the development of digital currencies and blockchain industries within the state, the use of cryptocurrencies’ effect on local tax receipts, and the transparency of the digital currency marketplace. The governor Andrew Cuomo has signed the “The Digital Currency Study Bill” into law on Dec. 21, 2018.
Commenting on the initiative, Julie Samuels, executive director of a nonprofit organization representing New York City tech companies, Tech:NYC, said that “cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology will, without a doubt, greatly impact finance and many other industries across the globe for years to come.” Vanel stated:
“New York leads the country in finance. We will also lead in proper fintech regulation. The task force of experts will help us strike the balance between having a robust blockchain industry and cryptocurrency economic environment while at the same time protecting New York investors and consumers.”
Other states in the U.S. have introduced legislation to create government bodies to study the potential impact of the blockchain and crypto industries on state commerce. In June, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy signed SB 443 into law, which established a blockchain working group to study the technology. The law also established time-frames for investigating and providing reports on the potential use of crypto in criminal activities.
Thai National Tech Development Center to introduce blockchain in voting
The National Electronics and Computer Technology Center (NECTEC) of Thailand has developed blockchain technology for e-voting.
NECTEC is a statutory government organization that operates under the purview of the National Science and Technology Development Agency and the Ministry of Science and Technology. The organization chiefly promotes the development of computing, electronics, IT and telecommunications.
In order for the system to function, it requires a controller, voters and candidates. Prior to the election, the controller can verify voter identity and candidate qualifications. Voters will purportedly be able to vote by email and must be verified by mobile camera.
While widespread blockchain-based e-voting has the potential to make elections faster, cheaper and more secure, it will take time to ensure that each voter has access to a mobile internet connection and identity verification.
Other countries have also been considering using blockchain technology to secure and conduct election processes. Following the 2018 federal mid-term elections in the United States, the Secretary of State of West Virginia reported a successful trial of mobile blockchain voting for West Virginians in the armed services stationed overseas.
Both the Swiss city of Zug and the Japanese city of Tsukuba have conducted trials of blockchain voting in municipal elections. In Tsukuba, the election was dedicated to several social programs. Residents could choose which of 13 proposed initiatives they would like to support, including developing a new cancer diagnostic technology, constructing objects for outdoor sports, and creating sound navigation in the city.
Nasdaq-powered EU exchange reveals crypto trading pairs, tokenized stocks
Nasdaq-powered DX Exchange announced the platform’s launch and available trading pairs in a series of tweets Jan. 6.
The digital trading platform uses Nasdaq’s Financial Information Exchange (FIX) protocol. Users of the exchange will be able to trade tokenize stocks in various major global companies. The exchange will offer tokenized forms of shares of some of the biggest companies on NASDAQ: Apple, Amazon, Baidu, Facebook, Google, Intel, Microsoft, Netflix, Nvidia, and Tesla.
On the face of it, it appears that DX.Exchange is trying to marry the traditional financial market with the tokenization possibilities of blockchain. Although the companies are not involved, each virtual stock will be an actual stock and benefit from cash dividends. The stocks will be managed by MPS Marketplace, which has been given the license to do so by Cyprus’ financial regulator.
Five more exchanges join Japan’s self-regulatory crypto exchange association
Five more cryptocurrency exchanges have joined the Japan Virtual Currency Exchange Association (JVCEA).
The JVCEA is a self-regulatory body formed in April by 16 registered crypto exchanges that aims to create industry-wide investor safety standards. In October, Japan’s financial regulator formally granted self-regulatory status to the JVCEA to oversee the crypto sector.
The body, made in part as a response to the January 2018 $534 million hack of crypto exchange Coincheck, had released a set of regulatory guidelines in June, including a ban on insider trading and prohibition against the trading of privacy-oriented coins. Over the summer, the exchange announced that it was considering both a margin trading limit and maximum restrictions for exchanges to place on some of their clients’ trading.
China banking body to develop multi-use blockchain platform with major banks
China’s self-regulatory bank organization, the China Banking Association (CBA) will launch a blockchain-based platform to improve efficiency across the sector. Multiple guinea pigs have signed up to pilot the platform, among them well-known names such as HSBC, Bank of China and Ping An Bank.
“The establishment of this inter-bank platform can be described as extraordinary, opening up barriers between different banks and realizing the interflow of information,” HSBC China vice president and head of industrial and commercial finance Fang Xiao told local news outlet China News, adding:
“The use of blockchain technology to promote trade finance reform has become a global trend. The HSBC Group’s overseas blockchain trade pilots show that the blockchain is used to improve the efficiency, safety and scale of trade.”
China continues to advance its state-level use of blockchain in a bid to capitalize on the benefits the tech has proven to provide in its short history.
Among the sponsors for the platform’s construction is the United Nations Development Bank, as well as several of the ten banks lined up as testers. A working version should appear sometime in 2019, the statement says, adding that it would enact plans for expansion once it was running smoothly. These, it says, will include attracting smaller banks, along with increasing the scope of applications to include taxation and customs entities, among others.
MIT Technology Review: Blockchain will become normalized in 2019
MIT Technology Review has published an article today, Jan. 2, arguing that 2019 is the year in which blockchain will become mundane. The Review is a magazine that is independent but wholly-owned by the United States Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT).
The article gives a laconic overview of its take on the recent history of blockchain, claiming that the technology was “a revolution that was supposed to disrupt the global financial system” in 2017, but that it was a disappointment in 2018 — in light of the significant decline in the valuations of virtually all blockchain-based crypto assets and currencies.
Nonetheless, the Review argues, on the cusp of the new year, many “innovative-sounding projects are still alive and even close to bearing fruit.” Together with several large corporations’ plans to launch major blockchain-based projects this year, 2019 is thus reportedly set to be “the year that blockchain technology finally becomes normal.”
As an example of the impending transformation of the sector, the Review cites the forthcoming entries of stalwart Wall Street players such as New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE) and investment giant Fidelity into the cryptocurrency business.
Even as the hype surrounding blockchain reportedly subsides, it argues that their offerings of regulator-approved infrastructure for crypto are a major watershed in the sector becoming mainstream.
The article’s final argument is that this normalization of the technology and the sector will entail a significant reshaping of the ideology that gave cryptocurrencies and blockchain their first impetus. Crypto’s roots as an anti-government movement is being upended, the article claims, by the advent of national cryptocurrencies.
Collected by Remitano